The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) controversial spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga lost from Hari Nagar in the 2020 Delhi elections by over 20,000 votes. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Rajkumari Dhillon won with 58,087 votes while Bagga’s tally was 37,956. Congress had fielded Surender Sethi from this constituency.
“We respect people’s mandate. I would like to thank all the people of my constituency and will always stand for them whether I win or lose. I would like to congratulate AAP,” he was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
Often branded a “troll”, Bagga was appointed as a spokesperson by Delhi BJP in 2017. He came into the limelight in 2011, as The Wire pointed out, after an assault on lawyer Prashant Bhushan in his chambers over his statement on Kashmir. A group founded by him, Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Bagga, however, told The Caravan that he was targeted. “You can see the video; I am not in the video. Just because I was part of that organisation [the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena], I have been targeted,” he said.
He also disrupted a launch event for author Arundhati Roy’s book at the India Habitat Centre the same year.
Bagga, who calls himself the “convener at Modi-Fying India” on Facebook, told The Print that he doesn’t think his language on social media will have a negative impact on elections. “I am not Uddhav Thackarey that I will change my ideology just for power,” he said, adding, “I am what I am.”
The BJP candidate also said he wants to make Delhi safe for women. “We will start self-defence training for women here,” he told The Print. He has also promised to install a smog tower in his constituency if he wins.
Like several other party leaders, he has also attacked the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Shaheen Bagh. He said a “surgical strike” will be launched against Shaheen Bagh on 11 February, when the results for the Delhi elections will be announced.
Bagga also has three pending criminal cases — related to the assault on Bhushan, protesting against Article 370 and a protest at the Congress office — against him, according to his election affidavit.
He has also been convicted in a case related to a protest against Congress leader Kapil Sibal on internet censorship.
The BJP leader has a diploma in “National Development Course at National Defense University Republic Of China Taiwan”, according to his affidavit. He is also pursuing “Bachelor Preparatory Programme from Indira Gandhi National Open University”.
Talking to IANS, he clarified that the diploma was for a one-month course. “I had received an invite from the Taiwan government to enroll. I stayed there for a month in December 2017 to complete the course.”
AAP candidate Jagdeep Singh had won the seat in 2015. He quit the party last month after being denied ticket this time for the Delhi elections, but later withdrew his resignation.
(With PTI inputs)